As the world grapples with the pandemic changes, the need for businesses to implement effective cost control measures is becoming more critical to remain in operation. A recent Forbes report projects that 25% of global public companies will likely run out of financial resources in the next six months unless they cut costs. By putting adequate cost controls in place, businesses can lower their expenses and use their extra cash in creating opportunities that will positively impact their bottom line.
However, cutting costs is tricky because it involves many moving parts. This means that if the required aspects are not implemented appropriately, a business organization may lose money instead. This article will go over several examples of cost management issues and provide you with tips on how to overcome them to stay profitable in uncertain conditions.
1. Managing Project Changes
Managing simultaneous project changes is perhaps the most challenging aspect of effective cost control. Usually, a budget is prepared beforehand for any project, and it is relatively common to have an inevitable change in the scope. These subsequent changes can ultimately lead to many complexities regarding forecasting and budgeting that can leave projects hanging for days.
One way to resolve this issue and handle scope changes is by defining and communicating a structured approach for assessing and approving change requests. This way, you can determine decision points in advance and set a flexible budget covering any project changes. It is also essential that you put a clear definition of project completion to avoid confusion when unexpected changes occur.
2. Inaccurate Reports
Reports provide valuable insights and information on growth, profits, and spending, which enable executives to control spending. Unfortunately, most organizations are still stuck in the past and are using spreadsheets to report essential business data. While spreadsheets can do the trick, data indicates that 88% of spreadsheets have errors.
Although some mistakes are tolerable, some errors are downright unacceptable and can lead to business leaders making critical decisions based on inaccurate data. Therefore, businesses must invest in a solution that provides customizable dashboards and pre-built reports. This way, they can eliminate data entry errors and ensure that they can give the stakeholders accurate statements regarding their financial position and make the necessary changes to remove unnecessary expenses.
3. Budget Forecasting
Budget forecasting is among the challenges facing cost accounting systems personnel. Often, several forecasts fail to tell the authentic story of where a specific business is going because of the lack of data credibility from Excel worksheets. At best, Excel worksheets can only organize and deliver financial data in an easy-to-read format.
Using a budget software solution can mitigate these issues by developing a realistic budget and justifying budget issues in the long term. The advantage of budget software solutions is they can automatically generate financial information that would otherwise be unnoticed to achieve a more precise budget while simultaneously reducing planning complexity. You can check this article and start comparing different kinds of budgeting software platforms to find a solution that can deliver the most bang for your buck.
4. Inefficient Processes and Systems
Regardless of several cost management technology advancements, roughly 69% of organizations are still stuck with inefficient processes and systems. A significant reason for their failure to adopt modern tools is the fear of the potential disruption it may cause to their overall operations. However, doing so is inefficient and time-consuming, but it also does little to control cost.
An excellent way for businesses to get out of this rabbit hole is to re-evaluate their need for an integrated cost control system. There are several factors to consider when developing a good cost control system, but perhaps the most important is knowing and eliminating silos. This allows you to provide real-time data and ensures that the data coming in is accurate, and can help control costs and generate opportunities.
5. Applying Cost Control Measures Effectively
The practical application of cost control measures is often a challenge for business leaders. This is because it requires them to monitor different sources of cost information daily, which can be time-consuming. However, not doing so and implementing cost control measures immediately without proper knowledge of the current operations can do more harm than good.
Therefore, you must get everyone involved, including your employees and encourage them to identify ways your business can save money. Usually, employees can point out activities with low return on investments and process inefficiencies because they are doing most of your business’s legwork. This increases employee satisfaction and provides you with a fresh approach to how you can overcome cost control issues.
Achieving Effective Cost Control
Overcoming cost control issues is like getting blood from a stone. It is often complex and frustrating because you have to deal with several cost management problems and solutions, increasing the risk of getting lost in the process. One way to stay on track is using a budgeting software solution like Rabio.
Rabio is a free and open-source business budgeting software designed to help organizations control costs and create budgeting methods for construction projects. It also allows users to get a flexible cost breakdown structure of their project budgets and ensure that they won’t spend money beyond its initial forecast. Rabio also offers a comprehensive product demonstration which is available 24/7.
Rabio is now open source and you can download it for free. Download Rabio here
Visual Guide to Planning a Project
Some projects are easy to manage, while others take a lot of effort. In either case, having a proper project plan will help you make sure that it gets completed flawlessly.